Michael ‘Jim’ Delligatti, fast-food legend and creator of the Big Mac, passed away this past Monday at the age of 98.
Delligatti owned 47 McDonald's franchises, but his biggest contribution to the company came in 1967. That was the year he not only devised the secret sauce, but also came up with the idea to include an additional 'buffer' bun inbetween patties, a signature characteristic that made the Big Mac so famous.
Despite its iconic status, getting the three-bun burger onto McDonald's menus was harder than it sounds, thanks to an executive board that didn't want to stray too far from the classic burger and fries formula. In order to test the waters, the Big Mac was exclusively served at Delligatti's franchise locations first before picking up steam and hitting menus nationwide. Almost 60 years later, the Big Mac is still one of fast-food's most recognizable items.
After the runaway success of the burger, Mickey D's helped Delligatti open a Big Mac Museum restaurant in North Huntingdon, PA. If you'd like to pay your respects to the burger genius, the shrine to Delligatti's invention would be a pretty good place to start.
[via Grub Street]